Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence

Reserve Defence Forces: Discussion

9:45 am

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

A recruitment campaign was launched on 23 April 2018 and a total of 1,364 applications were received, which is an astonishing number. It shows the interest out there among people who are available. Some 129 of the 1,364 were inducted to the Army Reserve and the Naval Service Reserve. What happened to the other 1,100? Were they just dismissed?

To be honest, I was amazed at the number of applications received. It is a very healthy sign that people are interested and concerned. There is potential that needs to be harnessed. However, it does not say an awful lot that out of 1,364 applicants, 129 were recruited. What happened to the other 1,235 who were not recruited? I am very interested in how we can help to encourage that interest. Are we asking too much of people? Are we expecting too much of those who are recruited? I do not know, but I bow to the four delegates in giving their views and opinions. That is what this gathering is about - seeing how we can help, improve matters and encourage more people. However, fewer than 10% of applicants were actually recruited. If the delegates could shed any light on that issue, I would be very interested in hearing their views and opinions.

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